Many of you will be away from your families and this can be VERY hard. What a lot of students forget is that even when they are away from home, they are still a part of a family – your campus family.
Campus families are very important! I was presenting recently at Washington State University where they pride themselves on being a campus family. Using the hashtag #gocougs and #cougshelpcougs, some of the tweets were truly inspiring, such as: “WSU is a family now! Always look out for your family” and “How dare you say it’s none of your business what happens to your family.” This is not just unique to WSU; this sentiment can be found all over the country on the various campuses we work with.
So what does it mean to be a part of a campus family? Think about your family at home. If someone were hurting a family member, you would jump right in to defend them. The same rule should apply to your campus family. Think of each and every single student on campus as your brother or sister. If you see them in trouble, you should help them.
College is a time for learning and growing; and along this path to learning and growing we may make mistakes. We might have a little too much to drink or we may find ourselves in a dangerous situation and not realize just how dangerous it is. It has happened to many of us, which is why we need to be there for those who need our help the most.
If you see someone who is very intoxicated at a party, help the person find a safe way home. If you see a student who is being harassed, do not be afraid to step in and offer your support. If you feel uncomfortable doing these things alone, find more members of your campus family to help back you up.
If a criminal was trying to come into your home, you would call the police and do whatever it took to make sure everyone in your family was safe. Do the same on campus. Call the police when you see someone trying to do something criminal to another person.
You are part of a huge campus family. When something happens to one person in our campus family, it impacts all of us. Look out for and defend your campus family like you would your own family. Remember, you are all in this together!